AAS MEETING

Monday, November 8, 2004

 

I. Attendance

SENIOR SENATORS

9

Elan Ghazal

x

Steve Hollister

x

Esther Lim

x

Gabriel Mattera

U

Arpan Podduturi

x

Daniel Reiss

x

Christian Sanchez

x

Justin Sharaf

x

 

 

JUNIOR SENATORS

 

Rania Arja

x

Rob Cobbs

U

Viet Do

x

Techo Kim

x

John Lian

x

Stephen Scriber

x

Mira Serrill-Robins

x

Mike Simmons

x

 

 

SOPHOMORE SENATORS

 

Richa Bhala

x

Boris Bulayev

/

Avi Das

x

Will Havemann

U

Noah Isserman

x

Marco LoCascio

x

Anoop Menon

x

Jacob Thomas

x

 

 

FRESHMEN SENATORS

 

Avery Armour

x

Ali Berman

x

Raj Borsellino

x

Daniel de Zeeuw

x

Ali Khan

x

Spencer Robins

x

Erika Sams

x

Josh Stein

x

TOTAL SENATORS

 

 

 

EXECUTIVE BRANCH

 

Ryan Park

x

David Scherr

x

Ian Shin

x

Ryan Smith

x

Roslynn Graves

x

 

II. Call to Order (9:09 PM)

 

III. Approval of the Minutes

Noah: Motion to approve the minutes.

Avi: Second.

Minutes are approved by unanimous consent.

 

IV. Officer Reports

A. President

Ryan Park: The only thing I really have is for the advising committee to meet afterwards. I talked to Dean Lieber about this committee bringing back scrutiny and we are going to talk about that. Who is in charge of the AAS gear?

Ryan Smith: Jess Rothschild is.

 

B. Vice President

Dave: Did you guys elect a class chair?

Ali: Josh is our chair.

Dave: Class council projects – we are going to have a quick report of what your status is.

Elan: We are still looking into speakers right now. This week we are going to try to get more ideas.

Rania: We are planning to put a computer center in Valentine and the gym. We might only have to pay for the actual kiosk.

Richa: We are working on either napkin holders or another printer in the Media Center.

Noah: Our arcade game is there and it is free.

Josh: I emailed Elan just to see what the class councils do and we are going to talk it over after this meeting.

Dave: There is a possibility that we could get a thing through blackboard where we could get on every student’s blackboard account. Would you approve of pursuing that? We could have more information on there and documents for students. We would make it so that each class can put things on it.

 

V. Announcements

Justin: The committee on athletics met this morning and we discussed a turf field project and we submitted a report to President Marx and Dean Call and they are going to do a feasibility study. We also talked about the problem of missing classes if you are an athlete. The current way is that athletes have to tell professors at the beginning of the semester. We are looking at changing that system.

Dan: To what purpose and why do you want to change this?

Justin: A huge number of students on this campus miss class because of athletic reasons. They feel like they are signally themselves out, and some professors have had a bias against athletes for this reason.

Ian: Is there any talk of getting rid of Peter Gooding any time soon?

Justin: No.

Ryan Smith: The AAS pants list is going around.

Dan: Someone in the sophomore class was in charge of making the sweatpants.

Erika: Basically in the 5 college committee we gave reports about what is going on in each college. They talked about getting the newspapers of each college on all campuses. The UMass kids complained about us not opening out events to all five college students. At the next meeting we are supposed to discuss electing a chair and encouraging students to use the buses. Also, we want to have campus maps at each of the bus stops. Out next meeting is on December 2nd.

Avi: Was the UMass student a member of the board or a member of the general public?

Erika: He was a member of the board. He was talking about some big speaker here at Amherst.

Avi: It was probably Justice Scalia. We want to keep events like that exclusive. Amherst students have priority and since Johnson Chapel is so small.

Dan: We shoulder the costs so they are our events and we are a small school.

 

VI. Special Orders

A. BC Recommendations

Requestor

Requested

Recommended

Allocated

Men’s Volleyball

$750.40

$750.40

$750.40

Sailing Team

$1,273.79

$1,300.00

$1,300.00

Total

$2,024.19

$2,050.40

$2,050.40

 

Ian: We started budgeting tonight so there are 6 people here that are tired already.

Avi: I would just like to say that the sailing thing is a non issue and for the men’s volleyball team I think it is a real shame that they don’t have one. They are only asking for tournament fees and balls.

Elan: Why is the sailing team coming before us?

Ian: They didn’t have a line item.

Dan: Call the question.

Voting on the BC recommendations for the week – MOTION PASSES: 29-0.

Ian: The Juarez group gave us money they didn’t use. A representative from The Hamster is here because she looked into the numbers you requested last week.

Representative from The Hamster: I originally asked for $1139 and now I am asking for black and white copies for 12 pages which comes to $839.

Avi: How many issues do we give to The Meredith?

Ian: I don’t know how many, I know The Indicator prints over 800. The materials The Meredith uses are different.

Noah: They’ve done the valid work.

Marco: I just like to say that they deserve another chance but the lessons of last year should not be forgotten.

Spencer: We are now going to give them money for a 12 page black and white and then a color cover. I don’t like putting them on probation.

Mira: I think we have discussed the fact that they don’t need color to put out a quality publication. Its not just the content that I am worried about, we gave them a lot of money and they didn’t have many issues and there was a lot of roll over.

Jake: It is not just content, it is quality as well.

Noah: Is doing it in black and white hurt the quality?

Representative from The Hamster: I’m fine with it in black and white.

Boris: So do you expect to give away all 800 copies?

Representative from The Hamster: I expect to give out all of them.

Boris: So you expect one out of every 2 Amherst students are going to take it?

Mike: I don’t understand what this means.

Dave: The original request was for color copies and they revised it for black and white and so now they are asking for a black and white issue and she has said that she doesn’t mind having black and white.

Mike: I strongly urge an affirmative vote.

Voting on 897.00 for The Hamster MOTION PASSES: 28-1.

B. The New York Times Bylaw Amendment

Ryan Park: This will secure a permanent spot to allocate money to The New York Times program. I have talked it over with my contact at the Times and it is possible for us to pay a check at the beginning of the semester so that we don’t have to have a student doing anything.

Josh: Could we get it on Sunday too?

Ryan Park: It would double the cost.

Marco: Can we tell the people at Valentine not to clean it up right away?

Dave: Sounds like a mission for the Dining Services Committee.

Elan: Where is this going in to?

Ryan Park: It is “H” in the master general fund.

Ian: The motion is to put $2500 into the master general fund. My comment is related to Rania’s shuttle project. I don’t know if the Bradley shuttle project and The New York Times project are long lasting. I would like some more time testing. The master general fund has been taking a lot of money from the discretionary funding. We would have to make a constitutional amendment soon to change the percentages.

Christian: Is it always going to stay as The New York Times?

Ryan Park: Since it is in the bylaws, the Senate can change it any time and it would take immediate effect.

Justin: Is it germane to speak on The New York Times versus other programs?

Dave: Yes.

Elan: Have you met with Ian about the percentage changes of the budget?

Ryan Park: I emailed Ian.

Ian: Seeing that we have been doing budget issues to toss that would make a big difference.

Ryan Park: The reason why I want this to be in the master general fund is because we can’t continue to have this program go through discretionary since we always have to have someone come forward and there is no administrative work that needs to be done. The Senate can take it out any semester. The only difference between this and me asking a freshman to do it is that the Senate won’t have to deal with every semester.

Elan: I think one of the things about having it in discretionary is that it is proposed as long as it’s wanted. Another thing is that if we are going to come up with this we have to see some numbers. I would like stronger numbers. I would encourage a postponement of this issue until that has at least happened.

Josh: The New York Times is a liberal paper and so we are setting a precedent that we are a liberal senate. Should we just say “newspaper” and not The New York Times in the bylaws?

Ryan Park: Bylaws are inherently temporary and 2 years ago and we did a survey of what newspapers people wanted. I think it’s just a liberal school and people want to read this paper.

Ian: I think the difference is between this and the Bradley shuttle is that the shuttle is a lot more work and this is just handing them a check. Anyone can take over this. It is a $2500 every semester that could potentially go to waste. Because we have to pay them at the beginning of the semester it could fail and we would have already paid for it. If the Senate wants me to look at the numbers I will do that.

Avi: Why do we pay for it every semester?

Ryan Park: It is a special program. Over 200 colleges do this every semester

Dan: Why don’t you make an amendment to have the President or the Vice President be in charge of this issue? It still has continuity and we don’t have to re-budget.

Ryan Park: I don’t think people are going to stop having an interest in reading the newspaper. Over 200 schools do this and people are still going to read the newspaper.

Mike: What evidence is there that this program would not be successful throughout the semester?

Ian: There are no similar programs so its hard to draw hypotheticals.

Spencer: Motion to postpone until next week.

Avi: I think we should commit this to Ian to run the numbers.

Ryan Park: This program right now is $2500 a semester and unless we are over 44% this will not be an issue. Now that we have added FLICS at some point people might hate going to these movies but that is not very likely. This is the same thing.

Boris: I think we should pass it now. People are going to always read the newspaper and I don’t think it is something people are going to lose interest in.

Noah: Can we talk to people in Valentine though so that they won’t throw them away?

Ian: The reason you don’t see them is not because people take them but because they are in the recycling bin. The reason that FLICS is in the master general fund is even more reason for me to look at the numbers.

Justin: What happens if you run the numbers and we are at 45.1%?

Ian: Then we have to do a constitutional amendment where we change the bylaws.

Motion to postpone this until next week for Ian to find the numbers – MOTION PASSES.

C. Bradley shuttle committee

Rania: I have been working on the Bradley shuttle since freshmen year. It is transportation to Bradley shuttle during Yhanksgiving, winter, and spring break. I wanted to get help on doing it and hopefully have this going after I graduate so I want to get three people to join, preferably freshmen.

Nominations: Avery, Raj, and Daniel

All are elected.

 

VII. New Business

A. Voting Booth Policy

Ryan Smith: This is the survey bylaw amendment we talked about 2 weeks ago or so where we had the problem of people administering the survey and we wanted to structure that a little more. This is our recommendation for the bylaw amendment.

Justin: In “a” I think it is missing a word. It should say “it” will be the job.

Ryan Smith: This is a recommendation from the JC so it is considered a motion.

Elan: I would like to remove part b entirely, and add under part c, after “senator” I want to put a slash and put executive board member. I want to add subsection 1. class councils will be able to initiate surveys by a majority vote of the committee and will not be restrained by Senate approval 2. For these surveys they should be determined by the elections committee chair. Then in part 3 section d, I want to remove the results 24 hours after the polls close.

Steve: Second.

Elan: “b” is talking about committees and there is nothing there that wouldn’t be covered already. In part c if you add them then it covers that. If they have a majority vote and the elections committee chair puts up the poll with the other polls of that week then it’s fine. Also under 24 hour limit is because of petitions for a poll and I don’t think that is going to happen with a poll.

Justin: Would you be against with results must be released 24 hours after?

Elan: I thought that would be implied but sure.

Mira: Is that the exact wording of the poll or just the general idea?

Ryan Smith: The way we did it was so that the Senate could decide if you are polling the student body and if the Senate wants to approve 5 newspapers as opposed to 1 then they could do that, but if it is an open ended thing where you are approving the nature of the poll, that’s ok too. We want the Senate to approve that and so we left it open ended. It’s open for the Senate to approve whatever they like. That was our intention. The reason that we left in “the results must be released 24 hours after the polls close” is that for some reason if a survey came up that violated this procedure there could be a complaint. We left that there so that this exact procedure is followed.

Elan: The elections committee chair will still release the results of this poll.

Ryan Smith: This at least makes them liable for it.

Mira: I think we should say an individual senator or executive board member or non-senator AAS members. I don’t think you should have to be a senator to initiate it. I could see a lot of times where clubs would want to initiate a poll and wouldn’t be able to do that. The Senate still needs to approve it by majority but it gives the students more ownership and efficacy. I think that most senators will help students if they come to them to propose this so I think this is making it more direct.

Noah: Second.

Elan: I don’t believe anywhere else in the constitution it says we shouldn’t have senators do it and should have students do it. I think there should be a communication between senators and their constituencies.

Dan: Sometimes senators are drunk and belligerent and it’s hard to approach them. This is more fair.

Justin: If someone from a club came to a meeting and said I want to do a survey then we could make the motion. Since the Senate has to pass it anyway and they show up at the meeting it is enough.

Mira: I think it is different from BC recommendations. I think the poll is taking into account the entire student body and it is something we should take into account.

Ryan Smith: If it has to be approved by over half the Senate someone could easily say I support it.

Dan: I think adding additional layers of bureaucracy are not always a favorable form of action and the simplest explanation is best.

Voting on Mira’s Amendment – any student could come in and propose a poll without a senator – MOTION FAILS.

Justin: Do we need to add in the bylaws that you have to advertise it?

Ryan Smith: If we say you have to announce this to all Amherst students, it wouldn’t let you just poll men or just poll women or just sophomores.

Jake: Call the question.

Current Roman Numerals IX and X will become X and XI respectively
IX. Surveys
A. Surveys held by the
Association of Amherst Students will be non-binding polls of student interests.
B. Surveys initiated by an individual Senator/Executive Board member or group of Senators/Executive Board members, outside the functions of a committee, will require approval of both the poll and the polling date by majority vote of the Senate.
1.Class Council will be able to initiate surveys by majority vote of the committee and shall not be restrained by the need for Senate approval.
2. For surveys initiated  by class councils, the polling date shall be determined by the elections committee chair.
C. Survey Timeline
1. Once a survey has been approved by the Senate it will be the job of the Elections Committee Chair to create a polling booth for the survey to take place.
2. Polling will last for twenty-four (24) hours.  Results must be released.

Elan’s Amendment - MOTION PASSES.

Justin: Call the question.

Voting Booth Policy Bylaw as amended by Elan – MOTION PASSES: 28-0.

 

VIII. Adjournment (10:16)

 

VOTE DESCRIPTION:

 

 

 

 

1 BC Recommendations

 

 

 

 

2 Hamster Funding

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 Bylaw Amendment -- Voting Booth Surveys

SENIOR SENATORS

1

2

3

 

Elan Ghazal

Y

Y

Y

 

Steve Hollister

Y

Y

Y

 

Esther Lim

Y

Y

Y

 

Gabriel Mattera

/

/

/

 

Arpan Podduturi

Y

Y

Y

 

Daniel Reiss

Y

Y

Y

 

Christian Sanchez

Y

Y

Y

 

Justin Sharaf

Y

Y

Y

 

 

 

 

 

 

JUNIOR SENATORS

 

 

 

 

Rania Arja

Y

Y

Y

 

Rob Cobbs

/

/

/

 

Viet Do

Y

Y

Y

 

Techo Kim

Y

Y

Y

 

John Lian

Y

Y

Y

 

Stephen Scriber

Y

Y

Y

 

Mira Serrill-Robins

Y

Y

Y

 

Mike Simmons

Y

Y

Y

 

 

 

 

 

 

SOPHOMORE SENATORS

 

Richa Bhala

Y

Y

Y

 

Boris Bulayev

Y

Y

Y

 

Avi Das

Y

N

/

 

Will Havemann

/

/

/

 

Noah Isserman

Y

Y

Y

 

Marco LoCascio

Y

Y

Y

 

Anoop Menon

Y

Y

Y

 

Jacob Thomas

Y

Y

Y

 

 

 

 

 

 

FRESHMEN SENATORS

 

 

Avery Armour

Y

Y

Y

 

Ali Berman

Y

Y

Y

 

Raj Borsellino

Y

Y

Y

 

Daniel de Zeeuw

Y

Y

Y

 

Ali Khan

Y

Y

Y

 

Spencer Robins

Y

Y

Y

 

Erika Sams

Y

Y

Y

 

Josh Stein

Y

Y

Y